Model Programs in Child and Family Mental Health

Model Programs in Child and Family Mental Health

Model Programs in Child and Family Mental Health

Model Programs in Child and Family Mental Health

Synopsis

This volume is the product of a combined effort to find programs of service delivery that demonstrably treat the varieties of mental health problems of children and their families. The Section on Clinical Child Psychology (APA, Clinical Psychology Section I) and the Division of Child, Youth, and Family Services (APA, Division 37) established a task force whose mission was to identify, provide recognition for, and disseminate information on such programs.

Their findings are presented here. The opening chapter and each section overview chapter provide orientations to the program descriptions and examine characteristics of exemplary interventions. The targeted problems include: child abuse and neglect, school adjustment problems, social problem-solving problems, autism and developmental disabilities, conduct disorders and severe emotional problems, children affected by disasters and trauma, children whose parents are divorced, children of teenage parents, family dysfunction and parent-child relationships, oppositional defiant disorder, and attention deficit disorder. Settings for interventions in the model programs include: schools, mental health centers and family guidance clinics, hospitals and pediatric practices, group homes and sheltered workshops, community centers, family homes, summer camps, and coordinated systems of care. The 18 programs described demonstrate the rationale for their interventions, their targeted populations, the type of staff and personnel, various programmatic interventions, aspects of the problems, implementation of interventions, and how the programs have been evaluated.

The needs for improved mental health services remain strong. The supporting organizations and the members of the Task Force intend for the product of this project to be helpful in providing models for meeting those needs.

Excerpt

This volume is the final product of a combined effort to find programs of service delivery that demonstratively treat the varieties of mental health problems of children and their families. The Section on Clinical Child Psychology (Section I of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association) and the Division of Child, Youth, and Family Services (Division 37 of the American Psychological Association) established a task force in 1992 with the mission to identify, provide recognition for, and disseminate information on programs of intervention and prevention that model "best" practices and innovations in meeting child and family mental health needs. Over a 2-year period, the task force solicited submissions on programs providing effective services for a variety of mental and physical health problems from a psychological perspective. No specific programmatic areas were targeted in order to gain a wide range of program submissions. The submitted program materials were then reviewed by the members of the task force and programs were evaluated on how well they illustrated demonstratively effective ways of approaching mental and physical problems facing children from a psychological perspective.

Programs varied in their ability to meet these criteria, and the task force members rated them to the degree they did so. The task force completed its review in the summer of 1993. Twenty-three programs were selected as meeting the standards as "model" programs. The program principals were invited to prepare descriptive chapters on their programs; 18 are published in this volume.

These programs are identified and described in order to provide useful information to others developing mental health programming for children and families. The needs for improved mental health services remain strong. The supporting organizations and the members of the task force intend for the product of this project to be helpful in providing models for meeting those needs.

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